OLD POST ALERT! This is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date. Please click on Start Here on the menu bar above to find links to my most useful articles, videos and podcast. Thanks and happy writing! – Joanna Penn
I know you're all screaming at me right now. What do you mean – another social network?!
But bear with me here, because Google Plus is more than a social network. It's more like a social layer over the rest of the properties Google uses and links to. Since Google is the most widely used search engine, and also own YouTube, if you want to be found on the internet, you need to know about Google Plus.
In today's interview, I chat with Evo Terra from ePublishUnum, author of Making Killer Google+ Profiles. Evo is an author, podcaster and digital business strategist now focusing on helping authors with digital publishing and marketing. You can watch the video interview below, or here on YouTube, or read the notes below.
In the video, we discuss:
- How Evo got started in the publishing world in the early 2000s when he was interviewing sci-fi authors on the radio. He then moved into podcasting in 2004, as a very early adopter and wrote Podcasting for Dummies with Tee Morris. He created Podiobooks.com which is for authors to record and distribute free audiobooks – a fantastic resource. Now he is creating Guides for Indie Authors.
- Why bother with Google Plus anyway? Evo explains how G+ is different because it is Google and so it is highly integrated into the rest of the internet many people use. How G+ compares to Facebook and other social networks. Facebook is where you hang out with people you already know, whereas Twitter and G+ are for connecting with people who you don't know – yet. You add people to your circles when they have the same interests as you.
- On being a ‘person' vs a ‘page' on Google Plus. Being a person is important and sharing interests is critical so be yourself as the author – curate what you share according to the author persona you want to portray. There won't be a friends and family spillover, so there shouldn't be a privacy issue on G+. For two brands as I have, it can be a little complicated. You can have other Pages for other things, like a company or for each book, or for a series. It can be a collector and it doesn't need to be really active, it is just a good property to have.
- On the Google Plus profile and how to optimize it. Make sure to use a picture of your face. Photography is critical on G+ as it is on other networks now. Using photos a lot is important. The Story is you – so make sure you expand that bio to include a description of you as the author. You can also include hyperlinks to your book pages. There is a section for links which prove who you are e.g. your website and social proof. Be sure to link to your books which are for sale. Add Contact information as well so people can get hold of you if they want to reach out to contact you.
- How to start using Google Plus. Start by figuring out ‘who you are' as an author and you should share based on these topics e.g. your books feature archaeology, then share that type of material. Content should be in the categories of Interacting, Sharing, Supporting, Informing and Asking. Check out this worksheet which will help you figure out what to share, or how to rebalance what you already share. You can also engage directly from your Gmail if you're within the Google eco-system, so it is part of your daily activity, rather than a specific destination. It is different to Facebook, and you can expect a different set of ‘rules'. You're likely to create a new network, but that doesn't mean you need to leave everything else. It's a great way to connect with people who are early adopters and key influencers in the business.
- On social media fatigue and how the online environment has changed. Social is part of our lives now. Evo mentions Google Now and we discuss Google Books and Google Play which could have a big audience on the Android platform but right now is pretty shocking compared to KDP and Kobo Writing Life. We hope this will change in the next year or two!
- EPublishUnum helps authors with books, roadmaps and communities around indie publishing and becoming successful as an author. You can join the Books and Beer hangout live every week